Cheewa James

Cheewa James

Upbeat, Thought-Provoking Speaker, Author, TV Personality
Fee Range
$5,000 or less
Exact fee falls within this range
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Program Descriptions

Cheewa, true to her Native American ancestry, is a superb storyteller. She is a born entertainer— humorous, completely at ease with her audience, and creating moving moments that carry messages audiences remember long after Cheewa is gone.

Cheewa’s presentations show how wisdom from antiquity can guide contemporary lives and present lessons in self-growth. The journey through the American Indian Medicine Wheel brings words of wisdom — thoughts that impact lives. North, south, east, and west all carry messages on how human lives should be lived: how we can all grow to be more effective, powerful, ethical, and happy individuals.

A one-page handout of the Native American Medicine Wheel and what it means is given out to audience members.

It is role modeling—the responsibility and initiative of individuals—that drives an organization. This keynote asks for a commitment to self- development. It provides routes to motivating oneself to both personal and life balance. Positive results come for those who take the initiative and action to make things happen, rather than wait for the crowd. Individuals are asked to find inner fortitude, meet the challenge, and then use that strength to empower others.

If the horse you are riding drops dead, that’s a good time to dismount. In a world filled with constant change, it is important to develop tools to combat stress, find ways toward good decision making, and develop a better management of self and relationships. Dealing with change in flexible, people-friendly ways is emphasized.

Leadership is a principle-guided, dynamic partnership between a leader and those who follow. Great leaders have a strong ethical base, emotional balance, a commitment to truth, a strong sense of the value of knowledge and research, and communicate so people really listen and understand.


Biography Read more

Cheewa is a sought-after keynote speaker, having worked with associations, agencies, and corporations across the United States and Canada. Her keynotes emphasize the power of communication, the paths to a balanced life style, and the value of positive role modeling—the kind of leadership that lives in every person.

“An employee or organization member with a balanced personality and strong communication skills is a contributing, productive individual.” That’s how Cheewa sees it!

“What I do,” says Cheewa, “is customize each speech. I want to know the challenges each client faces—what they need me to concentrate on. Then I need to know what people in their organization or business are doing right—so I can give them a show of support and appreciation with my own rousing call of ‘Right On!’” 

Meet Cheewa
Her client list is extensive. Listings include a wide range: health care professionals, hospitals, and counseling organizations; human resource management; educational organizations from Head Start to school boards and universities; government agencies at the state and national level; businesses large and small; and American Indian organizations. 

With a name like Cheewa, there has to be something different going on—and there is. She says it best herself: "My father is Modoc Indian and my mother is the daughter of German immigrants, which is why I look Italian—it’s the way the genes move!” As a published author, much of her research and writing is on the Native American.

Although addressing contemporary, forward-looking, and progressive business and self-development issues, Cheewa often uses American Indian philosophy to illustrate a point. She creates a feel for diversity in a very subtle way. Cheewa was born on the Klamath Indian Reservation, Oregon, and is enrolled with the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma.

As an author, she did extensive research over several years producing MODOC: The Tribe That Wouldn’t Die (Naturegraph, Inc.). She served as a National Park Service ranger in the Lava Beds National Monument, site of the 1873 Modoc War.

She has also written Catch the Whisper of the Wind, a collection of 60 profiles of Native Americans and Canadian First Nationers (Health Communications, Inc.) as well as several self-published books. She has published in such publications as Smithsonian, National Wildlife, National Parks, True West, Chicago Tribune, Portland Oregonian, Kansas City Star and in other newspapers across the U.S.

A former television anchorwoman and reporter, Cheewa is the recipient of seven UPI (United Press International) awards. She has been awarded the National Television Golden Mike Award for excellence in television production in the interest of youth. She has most recently been associated with PBS Sacramento, CA, KVIE-TV.

Cheewa is degreed in the area of communication with graduate work in education. She is a credentialed educator.

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"…an outstanding job. She is one of the few keynote speakers in our 34-year history to receive a standing ovation.”
--Wisconsin School Counselor Association

“Her inspiring speech was the best we have ever had.”
--Manpower, Inc.

“Kudos on Cheewa's keynote. A hit!...very meaningful, thought provoking, needed tissues, great humor."
--AZ Society for Human Resource Management

“An enlightening and captivating presentation. This was the highlight of the two-day gathering.”
--Bayer Corporation

“We were impressed by the contagious excitement in Cheewa's keynote and her heartfelt interest in our Oneida people."
--Oneida Indian Nation of New York

“…dynamic presentation…instant hit at our national convention with our nurses for her rich sense of humor and uplifting spirit.”
--National Association of School Nurses

“…continue to address other American Indians…your message cuts through territorial tribal boundaries. You need to be heard."
--Bureau of Indian Affairs, Sherman Indian H.S.

“The audience was quickly captured by her poise and charm. She made them feel they could succeed regardless of obstacles.”
--Fidelity National Title

“Cheewa is respected for her ability as a presenter at the state level. She is a true inspirer and motivator!”
--CA Department of Education, American Indian Office​